News World News

Tuesday 17 September 2019

ETA ends armed campaign and political efforts for Basque homeland

The group said it had ‘completely dismantled all of its structures’ but the Spanish government says it will still prosecute militants.

Spanish PM visits UK
Spanish PM visits UK
A man reads a basque nationalist newspaper reporting on the dissolution of ETA (Alvaro Barrientos/AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

Spanish separatist group ETA says it has ended its armed campaign and political efforts to create a Basque homeland but the Spanish government vowed to keep prosecuting militants.

ETA said in an open letter to the Basque people that it has “completely dismantled all of its structures” and “will no longer express political positions, promote initiatives or interact with other stakeholders”.

The group killed more than 850 people in its six decades of existence.

Whatever ETA does or says, it won't find any loophole for impunity. ETA can announce its disappearance, but its crimes or the action of the judiciary won't disappear Spain PM Mariano Rajoy

The letter was published by the Basque news website, a day after the group’s intentions were leaked in a letter.

Former militants will keep on seeking a “reunited, independent, socialist, Basque-speaking and non-patriarchal Basque country” but they will do it outside of ETA, the letter said.

A key challenge for left-wing Basque separatists “will be to bring into effect the right to decide, in order to achieve recognition of our nationhood,” it added.

Spanish PM visits UK

But Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy expressed no sympathy with the Basque dream of self-determination, calling the disbanding of ETA “noise and propaganda”.

He said the group had failed in imposing through violence an independent Basque state.

“Whatever ETA does or says, it won’t find any loophole for impunity,” Rajoy said. “ETA can announce its disappearance, but its crimes or the action of the judiciary won’t disappear.”

ETA, which stands for “Basque Homeland and Freedom” in the Basque language, carried out bombings, shootings and kidnappings, most of them after Spain transitioned to democracy in the late 1970s.

PA Media

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News